Choices, Chances, and Change

backlit cemetery christianity clouds

Here we stand at the end, almost, of a year that most people will gladly say goodbye to.

Several months ago I came across a fellow guest writer’s pledge on a daily post blog ‘Write Conversation’ by Edie Melson. I don’t know why I didn’t copy the ‘who’ to attribute it to. Maybe because I just copied it thinking it was for my own inspiration. There are four points here and they are written for the writer, but can be whittled down for all of us.

I pledge that I will use my power to make today a fantastic day. When I write I want to be an encouragement to those who choose to read my writing. There are many things we can say but to express those things in a positive way is more helpful than trying to beat someone with an idea.

I pledge that I will not allow my negative voice to guide my thinking or stop my creative process. I will surround myself with people who love me and support my writing.

During our lives we have choices. Being honest with ourselves is our make or break choice. We live in a victim society. Almost everywhere you go you will hear someone say, ‘I am the way I am, because bad things happened to me’. That’s a passive victim mentality. Good grief, almost everyone I know has had something bad happen to them.

Maybe what we need is someone who loves us enough to stand up and say, “Well, hooty tooty, aren’t you special? Now that you’ve confessed something, let’s see how we can crawl out of that bin and choose something better for our future.”

Because that’s the real test. Ask yourself, is what I’m doing making things better or worse? If not why not, if yes, in what way?

As in the case of my mother, marriage and divorce made her life worse. Living the life of a gypsy made her life worse. Her bitter, sarcastic tongue made life worse. Two things that didn’t fall in her favor that could have and maybe should have made her life better were she was beautiful to look at, and she was very smart.

That meant in the first years of her life she could find men who would be attracted to her (hence the three/four marriages) but no one could stay with her (due to her bitter, sarcastic tongue) and as a wise woman once told a class of wives, ‘keeping your husband in hot water will not make him tender.’

And being smart? I’ve known animals like this. They absolutely know what their ‘human’ wants them to do—because they are smart. However, they have a better idea and they will pursue that idea at all cost. They are too clever. And people like this are too clever and they are their own worst enemy. It is doubtful they will ever be profitable for/to anyone including themselves.

I pledge to tell my story—to share my experiences—with authenticity and without apology. Perhaps in telling my story I can provide others with the gifts of hope, wisdom, and joy. 

That along with the fourth pledge is why I write with the idea of telling the world about the love of God and salvation through Jesus.

I pledge that I will continue to work so that I gain clarity and focus for my readers attempting to make the world a better place, one word at a time.

Now, that’s where we’re at. Telling another story here. I’ve listened to a well-known preacher telling his story just a bit ago. He had a fine lesson until he got to the end of his message and then it fell apart.

How did it fall apart? Well, as some may know some people call those who follow the same teachings that I do, “People of the Book”. And that sums it up quite succinctly. Our ‘Book’ of course is the Bible. If it isn’t in the scriptures it isn’t part of our belief.

As our famous preacher was closing out his message he said, “I want you to pray this prayer word for word after me…” You can look throughout the Word of God and that prayer is not in the scriptures. Nowhere is anyone told to pray that prayer and be saved. Yes, we must come to God in repentance, but a model of conversion was there in Acts the second chapter:

Act 2:

36  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

37  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

40  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.